The Life of a Full Time Copywriter

The life of a full time copywriter is anything but boring. You can be misunderstood at times because you strive for excellence in all that you do and this can sometimes be misinterpreted. You are probably a perfectionist. So what does your life actually entail… ?

Always on the Go

“As copywriting becomes more and more popular as a job option this question comes up more and more. Here’s the truth: Successful copywriters, above all else, are master learners and experts in human experience.” – Jesse Gernigin

A copywriter needs to be on the go continually. This doesn’t mean that you have to be physically active all the time but mentally your wits will be about you wherever you are, whatever time of day or night it is. Obviously sleep gives you the opportunity for some relaxation, although sometimes projects or content infiltrate your dreams as well. Down time should mean just that, but it’s seldom the case. Even sitting having coffee on the patio with your feet up can provide the perfect opportunity for a creative idea to dive into your consciousness when it’s least welcome.

A copywriter draws from human experience and the learning platform we call life to find inspiration. Whether this means applying a totally unrelated life incident to inspire copy for a project, or googling the experiences of others to tie into a concept, you will research and learn and research some more until the required answer is at your fingertips.

Diverse and Unique

“Yeah, I know how to craft sentences that grab you by the eyeballs. They’re also grammatically correct 99% of the time (copyeditors, I love you). Anyone can write well, though. Heck, there are brand managers on my team who can put together a mean sentence. My bread and butter – the reason I get paid – is this innate ability to take the same idea and present it 100 different ways.” – Shadi Mirza

A copywriter does need to possess oodles of talent when it comes to spelling and grammar, along with punctuation, capitalization and everything else related. But the buck doesn’t stop there. Proofreading and copyediting are only precursors to the real job description. A copywriter, if need be, will take one proof and be able to rewrite it in multiple ways, using multiple tones in order to suit multiple clients. You possess the creativity and yes, the drive, to get the project done right, no matter what the cost.

This is the skill that enables you to write in different styles on numerous platforms. You can jump between serious, professional and light-hearted content with sometimes only minutes in between. And you can keep doing it, over and over and over again.

The Business Builder

“I’ve been working as a copywriter for 40 years now and still haven’t quite figured out how to properly describe what copywriters do. Or, maybe I’m just traumatized by how people used to react when I told them I was a copywriter…. Now, when people ask me what I do, I don’t tell them I’m a copywriter. I tell them I help build businesses.” – Nick Usborne

It is difficult describing a copywriter’s role in the business world as it is so varied and tasks to perform on any given day can be totally different to the next. You write, that much is a given, but you also research, evaluate, analyze, strategize, brainstorm, formulate… I could go on. It is true that you could probably be a best-selling novelist if you had the time, but you’d have to make do with losing the rather high salary you earn building businesses. Yes, you do build businesses. 

The part that too many people don’t understand is that a copywriter’s role is exceptionally important in the business world. You research, evaluate, analyze and formulate content and content is an essential part of the marketing process, just as marketing is an essential part of the sales process. And without sales, well, you may as well go and start writing that novel.

Always Learning

“If you want to become a copywriter, then the most obvious thing you need is a natural talent and passion for writing. Writing courses and other educational tools may be able to improve writing skills, but these will usually build on an existing ability to write reasonably well.” – Dale Hes

Educational tools and courses are part and parcel of a copywriter’s life. Writing courses, yes, they may help but, depending on the industry you find yourself in, let’s not forget the need you have to become proficient, and eventually excellent, in other sectors of business too. SEO, analytics, basic web building skills, UX, marketing funnels, digital marketing, social media marketing, microcopy, content strategy etc. are all terms and categories that you have involvement with in some shape or form. The more courses the better – you don’t ever stop learning nor do you want to.

The life of a full time copywriter is possibly one the most varied lives on Earth. And you relish every bit of it because that’s the type of character you are. You certainly wouldn’t describe yourself as mundane, would you?

Drawing Inspiration

“I work with four different art directors. How are we that outnumbered? That’s how little they tend to think of copy. I can write a headline in eight seconds, that’s what they think. Yes, technically, that’s how long it would take me to physically type six words. And it does take a lot longer to design an ad. But it’s taking a toll on copywriters because we’re stretched so thin between all the different art directors and projects. On paper, they don’t think we should take that much time writing.” – Kristina Monllos

If it was only all about writing. A copywriter has to draw inspiration from somewhere, even for a six word headline. Sometimes you aren’t in the right place to be creative; sometimes life has punched you in the gut and creativity is the last thing on your mind but you have a job to do. So you read and you research, and you put on the mp3 player until such a time as your creativity returns. Normally it’s only that initial spark that you need and you can write for weeks again. 

Nowadays your options when this down time happens are a little less limited or time consuming though thanks to the amazing content generators available. By inputting just a few lines into suitable content blocks, you’re back on your way. Inspiration by mouse click and in a smidgen of the time it used to take, your directors are happy again. And you’re able to get back to analyzing, strategizing and learning once more. The life of a full time copywriter demands it. Don’t you just love your job?

Warren Potter
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